A fibroid is a muscular growth in your uterus that usually occurs when you’ve reached your 40s or just starting to hit menopause. Menopause is difficult because your body can’t find the hormonal balance it requires. You’ll often find yourself in an estrogen high and progesterone slump- the foremost cause leading to fibroid formation.
Fibroids don’t produce any symptoms and often go unnoticed when they are small in size and less in number. However, it can take a turn and grow rapidly into a humungous mass(and I mean even 20-30 pounds!) or divide into numerous large ones. You’ll begin to notice an abdomen bulge and start tipping off the weight scale.
If you’re going to need surgery, weight loss after fibroids removed becomes a rising concern. Don’t worry though cause this article will answer all your questions.
Table of Content
Fibroid Belly Before and After
Fibroid belly bulge appears when your fibroids have grown rapidly and are putting pressure on pelvic organs. Uterine fibroids can often be confused with endometriosis or uterine cancer so it is crucial to be diagnosed properly.
After fibroids are removed, your bulge will be gone and with a proper diet and exercise schedule you might as well end up with a flat belly!
How Do I Know if My Weight Gain Is From Fibroids?
Because fibroids are benign, most women having fibroids are not even aware of them. You find out that your fibroids have probably grown when you have excessive bleeding during your period added to the pain and your period lasts for more than a week.
You’ll start to show a belly bump and put on weight but fibroids might not be the only answer to your weight gain. It depends on where and how fast they are growing. You should see a doctor for getting yourself diagnosed if –
- You’re suffering from symptoms like excessive bleeding with prolonged painful periods along with lower back pain and leg pain and frequent urination. You might also have an irregular menstrual cycle and bleeding between your cycles.
- You have unexplained weight gain although you lead a healthy lifestyle with adequate exercise.
- You have unexplained belly bulge when you’re not pregnant.
Rapid Weight Gain Fibroids
Losing weight is important when you have fibroids because fat stimulates estrogen production tipping fibroid formation as well. However, losing weight is tough with fibroids causing heavy bleeding. Blood loss results in anemia and makes you very lethargic making it hard to carry out daily chores.
There’s no extra energy that you can set aside for even lightweight exercise. Added to that is the fact that you try to overcome your weakness and lightheadedness by eating extra. Overeating plus no exercise will add to the fibroid belly bulge.
Fibroid Weight Chart
When your fibroids are diagnosed through an MRI(magnetic resonance imaging) scan or ultrasonogram, you’ll be provided with a measurement for your fibroids if they are present.
The measurements are standard and given in centimeters which are often difficult to fathom. You begin to wonder how big is 5cm perse and if it is big enough to be removed or how much it actually weighs.
Nevertheless, it is easier to apprehend when you can compare the size of your fibroids to a fruit. I mean, what are the odds of coming across an orange than a 10cm fibroid? You’ll also get a clearer image of the weight it is putting down when you can compare it to something known, which is oftentimes fruits in the case of uterine fibroids.
Weight Loss After Fibroids Removed
When fibroids grow out of proportion, it takes up most of your uterus and makes the uterine artery tortuous. Your fibroids can continue to grow and divide until your symptoms become uncontrollable even with medications. You’ll see your abdomen size increasing and a sudden gain in weight will concern you.
However, the extra weight from your fibroids is instantly gone when they are removed so you’ll see a massive positive change in your weight scale. You might not get back to your original weight right away but you’ll soon get there with some lifestyle modifications.
Lifestyle Changes for Weight Loss After Fibroid Removal
Weight loss after fibroid removal is impossible without modifying your lifestyle. This includes having a good night’s sleep, proper stress management, dietary changes, and daily exercise to keep your hormonal imbalance in check.
A vegetarian diet is preferred for weight loss after fibroid removal. Simply put, bulk eats veggies and avoids all kinds of meat. Eat loads of-
Green leafy vegetables
These are a great source of vitamins like Vitamin A, iron, and fiber too. Vitamin A plays a role in cell growth and has antioxidant properties which help increase immunity after fibroid removal.
Iron is important for your body to make up for the excessive loss of blood during your periods when you had larger fibroids. Most women suffer from severe anemia and become unexplainably weak and lethargic. Iron is accountable for producing more hemoglobin which will make up for the lost blood.
Whole grains, oats, lentils, beans, broccoli, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables, and tomatoes are great sources of fiber. Fibers are crucial as it aids weight loss and prevents the growth of fibroids. It also helps to keep the blood sugar level steady.
Maintaining a steady glucose level is important to keep the fibroid growth rate steady. Glucose level affects insulin level which in turn affects estrogen level in the body.
Vitamin D containing foods
Most women with fibroids are vitamin D deficient so it is important to overcome the deficiency and supplement it with natural sources or vitamin D supplements. Sunlight makes vitamin D in your body so make sure to get enough exposure to sunlight.
Egg yolks, fatty fish, cod liver oil are some foods high in vitamin D. Add a moderate amount of dairy like yogurt in your diet for vitamin D and other useful minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Apples, grapes, pears, and other colorful fruits are great for weight loss after fibroid removal. Apples and pears have healthy chemical substances called phloretin in them which are estrogen blockers.
Colorful fruits such as banana and papaya are rich in iron which helps overcome weakness and fatigue from the heavy bleeding due to fibroids.
Herbal treatment is useful if fibroids are small. It might not always be effective and requires a long time to show significant improvement but is known to reduce inflammation and shrink fibroids in some cases.
Herbs such as dandelion, chamomile, goldenseal, barbary, milk thistle, and others act by cleansing the liver which removes excess estrogen from your body.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
The importance of drinking water is underrated. It has various uses, the most important being washing away toxins produced in the body that stimulate fibroid formation.
Beet and Ginger
Although it’s not proven, ginger and beet are rich in vitamin C and B6 which play a role in balancing hormones and have antioxidant properties.
Green tea helps by reducing estrogen levels and hence fibroid formation. It is high in antioxidants which also help to fight off inflammation in the body that occurs in response to fibroid growth in the uterus.
- Soy-based products: Soybeans, soy milk, tofu increase estrogen level in the body and is harmful if you’re suffering from fibroids.
- Processed foods, red meat, and high-fat dairy: These are rich in carbohydrates which increases insulin levels in the body in order to break them down. Increased insulin level results in increased estrogen level.
- Alcohol and alcoholic beverages: Increases estrogen level by reducing the activity of the liver that removes excess estrogen so should be avoided.
- Caffeine and chocolate: Increases estrogen level in the body so resists yourself as much as you can.
- Flaxseeds: Although flaxseed is a good source of fibers, it is known to increase the estrogen levels in the body so you should avoid it.
A daily exercise routine is a must if you’re suffering from fibroids. It is also crucial for weight loss after fibroid removal. Before fibroid removal, make sure to avoid heavy weight lifting, crunches, situps, and other intensive exercises that are likely to increase blood supply to your uterus and stimulate the growth of your fibroids.
After fibroid removal, surgical procedures require a long-term resting period so your muscles become sore and your body is not used to exercise.
Make sure to start with less intensive cardio exercises like walking, swimming, and doing yoga. Alongside exercise, make sure to not give up on weight loss after fibroid removal because it can get quite difficult to continue and you might see slower results. So be positive and dedicated throughout the process.
How to Remove Fibroids?
Surgery may be the only option if your fibroid size is too big and is putting pressure on other organs in your abdomen. Removal of the uterus, hysterectomy is often suggested as the only permanent solution to remove fibroids but it results in sterility so women interested to have a baby in the future do not opt for this surgery.
Your ovaries are also removed during the process if ovarian cysts are present. It also has other drawbacks and usually results in weight gain rather than weight loss because of its long recovery time of about 4-6 weeks.
Myomectomy may be another option. It can be laparoscopic, hysteroscopic, or open abdominal. What is best suited for you will depend on how big or numerous your fibroids are and where they are located. It may be located inside the muscular layer of your uterus(intramural fibroids), inside the uterine cavity(submucosal fibroids), or outside the uterus(subserosal fibroids).
How deep your fibroids are situated can be evaluated by checking your uterine cavity carefully by pelvic examination or an ultrasonogram. If it is inside the lining of your uterus, your doctor might suggest a hysteroscopic myomectomy for you. Myomectomy is an overall good option as it preserves your fertility but one of its main drawbacks is that your fibroids might grow back after the surgery.
Nonsurgical uterine fluid embolization(UFE) is an increasingly popular option for fibroid removal. This process focuses on shrinking your fibroids by cutting blood supply to the fibroids by inserting a catheter and hence, killing them. Although this process has the fastest recovery time, there are risks involved like damage to uterine blood vessels.
Other options include endometrial ablation that destroys the lining of your uterus and results in fibroid removal. This process can be considered if you don’t wish to become pregnant.
Can you get a flat stomach after UFE?
Your fibroids are shrunk and removed so you’ll be free from fibroid belly bulge. You can also get back to your normal lifestyle much faster than other surgical procedures. With regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can have a flat stomach but you’ll need to be patient as it takes time to lose weight after fibroid removal.
Is UFE safe to do and does it cause recurrence?
UFE is a safe non-surgical procedure that preserves fertility and has a fast recovery time. It usually doesn’t cause the recurrence of fibroids. Always consult your doctor for better views.
Does hysterectomy cause weight loss?
Since it’s an invasive procedure requiring anesthesia, you might be too nauseated to eat and lose some weight but a hysterectomy has no direct connection with weight loss.
How do I know if I need surgery to remove my fibroids?
If you’re suffering from complications like long painful periods with heavy bleeding and others and notice a belly bulge, your fibroids might have grown too much and need removal. However, it can be removed by non-surgical procedures. It varies in different individuals. Consult your doctor for appropriate advice in your case.
How much does a 5 cm fibroid weigh?
A 5cm fibroid is of moderate size, that is the size of a plum. It can grow up to 10cm or more, that is the size of an orange or even watermelon.
Can fibroids cause weight loss?
Fibroids usually don’t cause weight loss or gain. They are not directly related. However, you’re likely to gain some weight if your fibroids grow into a large mass or numerous small ones that you’ll lose with a proper treatment plan so make sure to consult your doctor.
Will I lose weight after having fibroids removed?
You’re likely to lose weight after fibroid removal as the fibroid mass will be gone and you can re-engage yourself to your routine.
What happens after fibroids are removed?
You’ll see an instant change in belly size after you have your fibroids removed and get relief from painful symptoms like excessive bleeding, extremely painful menses, frequent urination, lower back and leg pain, etc.
How many hours is fibroid removal surgery?
It depends on the surgical procedure you’re going through. A hysterectomy usually takes about an hour to two hours whereas a myomectomy takes about 2hours to 4hours. It will vary depending on how complicated your surgery is.
What makes fibroids grow fast?
Fibroids are a result of increased estrogen levels in your body so foods increasing estrogen levels are likely to speed up the growth of fibroids. Other factors include gaining weight due to uncontrolled overeating and lack of exercise and other environmental factors.
Can a fibroid grow in 3 months?
Fibroids usually grow at a rate of 7% up to 3 months and increase rapidly from 3 months onwards. It can increase up to a whopping 36% according to statistics.
Fibroids are a common gynecological complication in most women in their 40s and hitting menopause soon. It is important to analyze if you need to have your fibroids removed and choose the right procedure to have them removed. So make sure to visit your doctor for diagnosing and choosing wisely.
Weight loss after fibroid removal is a difficult and long-term process and requires you to maintain a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine. Make sure to be positive about yourself along the way.